New Research Quantifies Impact of ‘Showrooming’

Harris Interactive LogoNew research released today from Harris Interactive, conducted on behalf of, provides a sobering look at how prevalent the practice of showrooming is among smartphone- and tablet-owning retail shoppers. Showrooming is where retail shoppers use their smartphone or tablet to look up lower prices on items they see in the retail showroom to purchase later from an online merchant.

According to the survey, more than 43% of smartphone and tablet owning consumers admit to showrooming. This figure, alarmingly close to 50%, is likely to be much higher than many industry observers would have expected.

But the survey didn’t stop there… Continue reading

After Years of Free-Fall, Housing Finds a Solid Bottom It Can Build From

Photo of housing under constructionThe U.S. Commerce Department released the latest data on new residential construction today and the results caught most off-guard as it was significantly better than expected with September overall housing starts increasing to 872,000 units – an amazing 15% over the revised August figure of 758,000. This data clearly suggests the nightmare of the 2007 housing market collapse can start to become a memory as the market recovers from a very scary bottom reached in the middle of 2009 when starts were at the lowest levels ever recorded since 1959.

More good news as housing’s outlook brightens… Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE> CEDIA Executives Address Issues Raised by Readers

As long time readers of (and the previous know, for the last three years, we have conducted a survey of our readers on their attitudes of both the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the CEDIA EXPO. Last month, our CEDIA EXPO survey saw a dramatic increase in participation – up over 90%.

Over 80% of the participants completed the entire survey and a review of the survey results showed that we got a lot of great comments on our open-ended questions. Whether positive or negative, it was clear that readers were serious, thoughtful, engaged, and concerned about this event.

Now, in a first for us, CEDIA responds to our survey – and more – in an exclusive interview… Continue reading

Nortek Names New Chief Supply Chain Officer

Nortek LogoNortek, Inc. announced today the appointment of Scott Campbell to Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer. A newly created position, the company says that the executive will be responsible for “creating, driving and implementing” an enterprise-grade, global supply chain strategy. Continue reading

Pioneer to Use Contract Manufacturers in Indonesia to Produce Car Sound Systems

Pioneer_2012CES_2The Nikkei reported today that Pioneer Corporation is planning to use contract manufacturers in Indonesia for the production of its automotive sound systems starting next spring. According to the report, the company is “facing a shrinking market for its mainline car navigation equipment.”

See what Pioneer feels they gain by making this move… Continue reading

D&M Sells McIntosh Labs to Italian High-End Marketer Backed by Private Equity

McIntosh LogoNews emerged today that Italian holding company Fine Sounds SpA has acquired 100% of McIntosh Laboratory, the Binghamton, NY-based high-end brand most recently owned by D&M Holdings. The announcement – which came from Fine Sounds, contained only a short statement from Charles Randall, President of McIntosh, with no other comments attributed to D&M Holdings or its parent Bain Capital.

Fine Sounds, backed by private equity company Quadrivio – also based in Milan, Italy – is the owner and distributor of other high-end brands such as Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital, and Sumiko. According to the company, their strategy is to “offer products that are the best in the world in their category.

But does this strategy make sense for McIntosh?…

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Start-up ube Wins $1 Million People’s Choice Award

Launched earlier this week at DEMO, the high-tech conference in Silicon Valley that just wrapped up, start-up company ube won the People’s Choice Award and $1 million worth of media from IDG properties. We profiled ube in our post here…saying that they just may be on to something and the DEMO judges apparently agree.

Learn more about this win here… Continue reading

Japan Moves to Set Worldwide Standard for Residential Energy Storage

Photo of Joe Piccirilli of Rosewater Energy Group

Joe Piccirilli, Rosewater Energy Group

At last month’s CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis, we learned about – and reported on – a new venture by industry stalwart Joe Piccirilli to sell a residential energy storage hub under the Rosewater Energy Group brand. Their hub uses rechargeable batteries to store energy from the power grid, or from renewable sources (i.e. solar panels, wind turbines), or even from a back-up generator to condition the energy and power your home.

Now news comes out of Asia that Japanese industry, in conjunction with the Japanese government, is preparing a proposal for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to set international standards for the fledgling residential storage industry.

Why is Japan focusing on residential energy storage? Read below to see why… Continue reading

NEC & Partners Launch Program to Drive Adoption of Residential Energy Storage

Photo of NEC's residential storage unit.

NEC’s residential storage unit

It seems that a great green wave is sweeping over Japan as the government and several businesses partner to drive adoption of, and set standards for, the residential energy storage (RES) system business. In a separate post, we reported on a story out of Japan of an effort by Toshiba, Hitachi, and the Japanese government to persuade the IEC, an international standards setting commission, to set an international standard for RES systems based on their proposal.

And on the same day that this was reported, separately the NEC Corp. announced that they have partnered with Orix Corp. to roll-out a national program (in the domestic Japan market) to lease NEC residential energy storage systems to consumers. Although these systems are not new, they have struggled to grow their share of the market – largely because the systems tend to be expensive.

But that’s all about to change… Continue reading

3vNet Hires Training Manager and Training Company

3vNet LogoIn a rash of fast-paced announcements, it is clear that 3vNet continues to push forward with their rapid business ramp-up. Newly independent from former parent, Russound, the company has moved quickly to establish their own identity with an all-new website and several new executives joining the organization. On Monday, we learned that 3vNet has hired Timothy Dunigan as Manager, Training and Education.

But wait, there’s more… Continue reading